You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Find My Family

Show doesn't just tug at the heartstrings; rather, it yanks, twists and defibrillates them.

Hosts: Tim Green, Lisa Joyner.

As they do on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the producers of “Find My Family” don’t just tug at the heartstrings; rather, they yank, twist and defibrillate them, all set to cloyingly sentimental music. Unabashedly hokey, the series reunites parents with children they gave up for adoption, literally bringing them together under a “family tree” in a pastoral meadow. If you can get past that level of manipulation, this show will likely connect emotionally — delivering on its promise of “moving moments and tears of joy.”

ABC will wisely use “Dancing With the Stars” as a springboard to introduce a half-hour version of the series, expanding to its regular 60-minute form the following Monday. Each episode consists of two stories, as hosts Tim Green and Lisa Joyner (both, they note, adopted themselves) gently lead the parties through the reunion — and, amid all the hugging and crying, even get choked up themselves.

The two stories previewed involve a middle-age couple seeking to find the daughter they gave up as teens; and a man seeking his biological mother in part because his own son is about to ship off to Afghanistan, creating an incentive to know the family’s entire medical history.

Relatively little time is given to the unseen investigators who hunt down the missing relatives, the better to unleash the waterworks when the blood kin meet. In both of these cases, everyone says all the right things — including paying tribute to the adoptive parents who actually underwent the rigors of raising these children.

At the risk of seeming insensitive (then again, what else is new?), the irritating aspect of “Find My Family” is that it appears to embrace the notion that blood is at least as thick as the sweat and tears part of parenting — confusing a failure to master birth control with the arduous work of raising a child.

“Find My Family” works strictly as television precisely because the format so neatly sidesteps the thornier issues that surround locating biological relatives decades later. It’s very effective as melodrama, and inordinately well suited to spill beyond primetime onto network morning shows, augmented by the obligatory analysis from shrinks and counselors.

In terms of being convincing as “reality,” though, the show mirrors much of this genre, which requires the complicity of an unquestioning audience willing to absorb the drama at face value — letting “Family” into their hearts, while fastidiously bypassing their heads.

Find My Family

ABC, Mon. Nov. 23, 9:30 p.m.

Production: Produced by RelativityReal and RDF USA. Executive producers, Tom Forman, Julie Laughlin-Jones, Chris Coelen, Tony Yates; co-executive producers, Jon Beyer, Brad Bishop; supervising producers, Jenifer Faison, Julie Link; story producer, Brian Szot.

Crew: Camera, Bruce Dorfman; senior editor, Jim Furlong; music, Tony Phillips (theme), Doug Bossi. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.

Cast: Hosts: Tim Green, Lisa Joyner.

More TV

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Agencies' Antitrust Suit Against Writers Guild Set for January Hearing

    The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a Jan. 17 hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on Sept. 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • GoliathSeason 3CR: Greg Lewis/Amazon Studios

    'Goliath’ Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed gritty legal drama “Goliath” for a fourth and final season. The series centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who seeks redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Mandalorian' TV show premiere,

    Jon Favreau Already Has a Star Picked for His 'Star Wars' Holiday Special

    The “Star Wars” franchise is no stranger to the strange and odd. But the wildest of all the offerings from the galaxy far, far away is the bizarre (but beautiful) “Star Wars Holiday Special.” And Jon Favreau is ready to resurrect it. The TV special celebrating the Wookiee holiday “Light Day” aired on CBS in [...]

  • Justin Marks FX

    'The Jungle Book' Writer Justin Marks Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions

    “Counterpart” creator and showrunner and “The Jungle Book” scribe Justin Marks has signed an overall deal to create new content for FX Productions. “Justin is a true creative talent and we feel fortunate to be his partners in supporting his vision of bold and ambitious storytelling,” said FX Entertainment original programming president Gina Balian. Marks, [...]

  • Tye Sheridan

    Tye Sheridan Starring in Survival Thriller 'Wireless' From Steven Soderbergh for Quibi

    Quibi has ordered another show with notable Hollywood talent attached: scripted series “Wireless” starring Tye Sheridan with Steven Soderbergh on board as executive producer. In the made-for-mobile-screens thriller, a smartphone has a central role. Sheridan (“Ready Player One,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) plays a self-obsessed college student who is stranded in the Colorado mountains after he crashes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content